T e a c h e r  C r e a t e d  L e s s o n

The Greenest Cities of Canada

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, Richmond, British Columbia

Sustainability has come to the forefront of popular media. Students need the knowledge and skills to be socially responsible citizens in this current environment. In this lesson, students will analyze the green value of major cities in Canada and create individual action plans to reduce their ecological footprint.
Factors Contributing a City's green value
1. Using your background knowledge, individually list the 5 factors that you would choose to assess a city's green value. Why did you choose these factors?

2. Compare your list with a small group (3-5 people). Were the factors chosen by each person the same, or different? Why?

3. Now as a group, choose the 5 most important factors that should be considered for evaluating how "green" a city is.
Green Cities
Of the cities listed below, predict which is the:

Calgary, Edmonton, Kingston, Kitchener, Ontario, Montreal, Quebec City, Sudbury, Saskatoon, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria

(a) most green

(b) least green

(c) predict the order of the cities from most green to least green

(d) discuss where you think your city would fall in this list
Green City Smackdown
To compare how green each of the major cities are, play the Green City Smackdown below:
Green City Smackdown
Science World
© 2007, Science World British Columbia. All Rights Reserved.
Play the Flash File

Learning Object Collection: Developing Story
Learning Object: Green City Smackdown
Vancouver - how green are we?
In the Time Lapse file below, observe the changes that have occurred in False Creek and downtown Vancouver over the past year and answer the following questions:

-Based on the photographs, do you consider Vancouver to be a green city? Why or why not?

-Describe 5 ways Vancouver could become more green.
Shifting Skyline
Science World
© 2007, Science World British Columbia. All Rights Reserved.
Play the Flash File

Learning Object Collection: Developing Story
Learning Object: Shifting Skyline
The following are extensions and optional assignments
1. Evaluating your school
Evaluate the green value of your school by listing all of the projects/initiatives that are already in place (ie. recycling of paper & pop cans, idle-free programs, composting, gardening, etc).

2. Action Plan Proposal
Cities and communities are working together to help create a healthier sustainable environment. So how can we, as school communities, make a difference? Here's your chance to create a plan, implement it and make a difference.

A. Pick a topic of interest that's related to sustainability (ie. Idle Free Training, Earth Day Celebrations, composting, recycling, waste reduction, e-waste, etc.)

B. Create a project proposal. Include the following:
-Describe your project - what is your plan?
-Who is your target audience and why?
-Why have you chosen this topic? Why is it worthwhile for your school population?
-What will be your baseline data? What are you going to measure?
-How will your project impact your student population?
-How will you educate your target audience (ie. newsletters, campaign, assembly, clubs, etc.)
-What is your proposed timeline?
-Who will you be working with (teachers, students, parents, etc.)
3. Action Plan Implementation
A. Create a list of 5 resources that you used to help research and implement your project

B. Show your plan to a teacher who can give positive and constructive feedback - teachers are your strongest supporters

C. Implement your plan.
4. Action Plan Reflection
Now evaluate and reflect on your project by answering the following:
-How effective was your project? Was there a visible difference (ie. compare energy, finance, resource savings).
-Highlight the successes and challenges that you faced
-How could you improve your project proposal?
-If you were to implement this project in another school, would the proposal be the same? Provide a list of suggestions and helpful hints for implementation
-What did you learn about doing this project?

Learning Objectives

The goal of this lesson is for students to be able to:

-examine/evaluate the factors that contribute to a cities "green" ratings
-discuss how students may individually and collectively decrease their ecological footprint
-create an action plan for decreasing their own individual ecological footprint

Specifically for the BC Curriculum, this lesson is related to the new Science 10 curriculum which will be implemented in Sept. 2008.

The correlated IRPS are:

A5 demonstrate ethical, responsible, cooperative behaviour

B1 explain the interaction of abiotic and biotic factors within an ecosystem
B2 assess the potential impacts of bioaccumulation
B3 explain various ways in which natural populations are altered or kept in equilibrium

D3 evaluate possible causes of climate change and its impact on natural systems

More specifically, the lesson is connected to the K-12 Environmental Learning and Experience Document - the framework and guidelines for sustainability education in British Columbia. Environmental and Sustainability education is to be embedded throughout the curriculum from the language arts, music, socials, science, etc. This document can be found at: